I feel like I have to start with a bit of backstory. Other than Garry Shandling and Mel Brooks, probably the biggest influence on my sense of humor growing up was The State. Its original run aired when I was in Jr. High school, and many a weekend night was spent with my best friend Kendrah, hanging out in our matching Esleep pajamas, eating copious amounts of Cheez-Its, ham & cheese Hot Pockets, and various other cheese-based snack products (we were a little obsessed with cheese), and ingesting as many episodes of The State as possible. We felt like we were the only people in America who had stumbled upon the pure genius that was unfolding before us. Surely no one in our small hometown knew what we were talking about when we went on and on about Captain Monterey Jack’s three H’s for keeping cheese fresh: head, heart, and small plastic containers (we really were very cheese-centric in those days). It was the best thing I’d ever seen. Not because it was necessarily the funniest thing I had ever seen, but because somehow it felt personal to me. I knew that not everyone would find these premises funny, and because I did find them funny I felt a connection with Tom, Michael, Michael, David, Ken, Ben, Kerri, Kevin, Joe, Michael and Todd. And to this day, I feel a connection with anyone I meet who was also a fan of The State in the early ‘90’s. When my then-boyfriend and I stumbled upon Wet Hot American Summer in the video store in 2002, I knew we had to rent it, and I knew I was going to love it. And I did. And then I forced all my friends to watch it and love it as well.
All that is a long way to say this: I will read or watch anything starring, written by, directed by, or including a small cameo from anyone who was ever on The State. And I will do it gladly, even when said movie/tv show/You Tube video received bad reviews. I don’t care what other people say. These are my people. When Joe Lo Truglio or Kerri Kenney pops up in a movie unexpectedly, it’s almost akin to bumping into an old friend. And I love the superiority and disdain I can feel for “friends” who refer to Michael Ian Black as “that guy from VH1,” or call Thomas Lennon “the weirdo on Reno 911.” No, you silly ignorant bastard, you poor soul who was clearly deprived a full and meaningful childhood—they’re both from The State. Never forget.
Now that the foundation has been laid, I will get to the point: I very much enjoyed Wanderlust. It was funny, you guys. Paul Rudd is a national treasure, and I don’t understand why people hate on Jenny Aniston. She’s lovely. Plus, there is plenty of full-frontal male nudity (mostly from Joe Lo Truligo, who was the clear favorite of both Kendrah and mine in 1993), bringing the penis quotient of the movies I’ve seen so far this year up to a solid 28%. In addition to gratuitous penises, there were also plenty of laughs. Other than a hilarious scene involving Paul Rudd talking to himself in front of a mirror (I won’t give it away), my favorite bits were probably the few short scenes involving an Atlanta nightly news team made up of Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain (I have to admit, Stella is probably my favorite The State offshoot). Also, there were some great outtakes at the end. Be sure to stick around for that; don’t be an animal who runs out the door before the credits start rolling.
The reason I felt this review needed a long intro, however, is because I am fully aware that not everyone is going to like this movie as much as I did. Will I judge you and forever hold you in disdain as a lesser-human if you do not enjoy this movie? Of course. But I get it. Not everyone has the same sense of humor. If we did, life would be boring. Besides, how else am I to weed people out of my life if not by judging the refinement of their comedic sensibility?
But I digress. Wanderlust is truly an enoyable movie, and I urge everyone to see it for the sake of comedy. Even if you don’t love this movie, I can guarantee that it will make you laugh more than Safe House or The Vow (at least non-ironically) or whatever other Tyler Perry-created drivel is currently playing at the multi-plex near you. Go see this movie so movie studios will continue to support original, creative comedies instead of forcing the same regurgitated formulas down our throats year after year. Seriously, do you want to be responsible for The Hangover 12: On Golden Pond??
Wanderlust: See It in the Theater (Please!!)